Definition

The time from when an issue is created to when it is resolved.

Why it Matters

This is an indication of how long an issue exists before it is resolved. Unlike Issue Cycle Time, the Lead Time clock starts when the issue is created, rather than when it is first moved to “In Progress.” Issue Lead Time tracks how long issues actually live, regardless of when they are started or how long they are worked on.

How to use it

Use this metric as a proxy to analyze roughly how long it takes work to go from ideation, when the issue is created, to resolved, when the engineer has completed the work.

Long Issue Lead Times may indicate that issues are created well in advance of actually being picked up. This could be the case for teams that do their planning over longer horizons, and log issues in their project management system well before they start working on them. This long-term planning could lead to stale product requirements or details, so teams with long Issue Lead Times may want to make it a point to periodically reassess the issues in their backlog and ensure that product specifications and priorities are still up to date.

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